scatter(by Riddhi Mukherjee and Nikhil Pahwa)

Former IBNLive CEO Rajan Srinivasan, who had left Network18 in 2013, has launched a content marketplace for brands, called Scatter. The Mumbai based startup, Spiral Content Solutions was founded last year (2014) by Srinivasan, along with former Network18 colleague Mahip Singh (COO) and serial entrepreneur Pratik Poddar (CTO).

The marketplace curates content from Indian and international publishers, and makes it available for brands to use on social media and other digital platforms (for a fee), in order to provide quality content as a means to draw potential readers. It’s a form of Native Advertising, where the brand links itself to content relevant and of interest to an audience, and the consumer sees neutral content without the brand bias that typifies brand communication.

Speaking with MediaNama, Spiral Content CEO Srinivasan said that scatter is meant for marketers with “owned media or communities”, essentially, for marketers who want to communicate with customers on their own social media community, website and/or email database. “They cannot currently use Scatter on an Outbrain or a Taboola. We will soon get into that space as well”, he added. Scatter also intends to expand its content offering beyond text to include video, and launch the platform globally in the next 2-3 months. Srinivasan said that the company is targeting the US, Australia and South East Asia to begin with.

Publishers get paid for the syndication of content, and lease their content to marketers for a period of 90 days. The Scatter marketplace aggregates content for licensing, and marketers/brands can search for content based on keywords, apart from providing recommendations based on past searches. The marketplace isn’t just a platform for trading content, but, according to the company, adds layers of data to add relevance to content selection: The platform, according to Poddar, “addresses brand attributes, consumer passion points”, an editorial calendar tool and a “real time opportunity to plug into LIVE conversations.” Essentially, this is data that allows marketers to determine what’s trending and planned, to that they can discover (and hence share) content that is relevant at that time.

Spiral Content Solutions informs us that Chinese mobile phone maker Gionee has already signed up for the service, while two other clients are in the process of coming on board, though the company declined to reveal their names at this stage.

For publishers, this is an opportunity to license their content to brands. Spiral currently claims to have over 80 Indian and international publishers on board, including:

– India Today
– Indian Express
– Outlook (Magazine)
– IBT Media,
– Business Today
– Rolling Stone
– Man’s World
– Gizbot
– OneIndia
– Nativeplanet

The company says that it is in talks with other publishers, bloggers and content creators as well, and expects to bring more of them onboard by the end of February.